Name to Know: Phutureprimitive
25 Mar 2011

The Author

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I have to admit, I’m biased towards the downtempo side of electronica. I feel that with low tempo beats, you can really let the music get under your skin and into your head, zone out into your own universe and challenge yourself to a dance off. With the heavy influence of dubstep these days, filthy bass beats are dropping faster than hot potatoes, but turning dirty bass into an elegant, multi-layer sonic experience is a refined skill we see few producers master.

Artwork by Android Jones

I hear that refined vision in Phutureprimitive’s new album “Kinetik.” Dreamy melodies and dubbed out psychedelic grooves pervade on the producer’s second release on his own label, Native Harmonix. The layers of rhythm transition seamlessly from dream waves to the kind of dub breaks that make your head wobble in agreement. If robots could make love, this is something they’d listen to.

An artist native to Oregon, the influences of west coast downtempo, glitch hop, and dubstep are evident but the overall style defies classification in a single genre or subgenre. Originally the DJ/producer Rain, he’s toured under the moniker Phutureprimitive since 2005 (his first album, Sub Conscious was released in 2004 on Waveform Records) and he has evolved his live show considerably. His main priority is moving you on the dance floor, but his tracks explore human emotion in the digital form.  As he says, “This album is a reflection of the times we are living in … hard and aggressive, lush and beautiful, kinetic, frenetic, distorted, ever changing … but with each passing moment, a chance to move through life and make it a better place than we found it.”

Sparkleberry Lane was curious to get Rain’s views on the state of the world, traveling, and making music, so we hollered at him amidst his tour alongside Ott. and other progressive artists like Heyoka and Octopus Nebula. He might not have the solutions to the world’s problems, but we certainly appreciate his contribution of positive energy in the form of luscious electronic music.

SBL: Do your tours have different themes or concepts tied into them? What can we expect from your live shows on this tour?

Rain: This tour is mostly about promoting my new album “Kinetik” which was just released on March 15th on Native Harmonix. I’ve also been experimenting with some different gestural based controllers in an attempt to have a live setup that is a lot of fun for me to perform on stage. An example is the MIDI-EXP by Source Audio. It allows me to control any sound or effect by making gestures with my hand, while wearing a wireless ring controller.

There are so many possibilities and I’m just starting to scratch the surface. The next step for me is to get custom visuals set up that I can project and manipulate while I’m doing my performance. Incorporating visuals will allow me to create more of a pronounced theme each time I tour.

You’ve been creating music since the 90s. Today artists can blend laptops with violins seamlessly on stage, and some might think we’ve reached a zenith of creativity. What has been most notable to you about electronic music’s evolution, and do you have any idea where we might be headed next?

What I see as most notable is also what I see has most room for growth: the fusion of organic and electronic music; the hybridization of real time instruments and digital alchemy. I think we’ll see a lot more of this as new styles develop, and more artists branch out and collaborate outside their respective and assumed genres. To me that’s the next level.

You’ve toured around the world. Do you have a favorite memory of playing abroad?

Not one, but many: most of them are the moments in between the performances: Sitting with Ott under a star-filled sky in Croatia geeking out on the finer points of music production. Crouching on the edge of a lake at night in Portugal with my palms on the surface of the water as the ripples tickle my palms and beautiful music drifts by on the wind. Going to an insane water park with friends after a show in Spain. Getting to know some of the musicians I’ve appreciated, and finding they are human just like me. Dancing as the sun rises at Angels Camp after being up all night, riding a completely natural high and thinking, there is no where I would rather be. Playing the kind of sets that are filled with an exchange of energy between everyone present, as if all speaking a common language through movement, while being out of my body, and truly in the moment.

It’s interesting to see music in different parts of the country and notice how fans differentiate. How do you think lovers of downtempo glitch hop soundscapes around the world are most similar?

I find most people I meet in the scene to be supportive, and enthusiastic in some way. Anywhere I show up, there is a core group of people putting a lot of effort in to keeping quality talent and music coming through their town. There is a big family sort of vibe at most shows I go to, whether in the USA, or Europe, or elsewhere. I feel privileged to be a part of it. It’s something vastly different from what you see reported on the news each day.

In a world full of turmoil and destruction, it’s hard to figure out where the solutions to our problems lie. Sparkleberry Lane believes global solutions start with us individually trying to mend our own lives. How have you evolved as a person in the past 5 years and how has that reflected in your music?

I’ve been consuming a lot of information in the past several years about the state of the world in it’s many forms. And to be honest it can be overwhelming at times; almost crippling. There are a hell of a lot of people all claiming to have solutions to the real problems this world is rapidly being forced to confront … who is right? I believe our species (and most others on this planet) are going to see a lot of change in the very near phuture …. and it’s not going to be pretty. The very way most human civilizations have gone about inhabiting this planet, are now threatening to render its surface uninhabitable by our species. The planet will be “fine” regardless of our existence. But whether or not that “fine” state is livable for humans is an entirely different story. Some of these concepts are largely why my latest album “Kinetik” is more aggressive than my previous work. It has been an outlet for me, a channel for the frustration, the bewilderment, the anger, the realization of just how phuture primitive we truly are.

How do you live consciously, with the betterment of the world in mind, on a day to day basis?

HAHAHA. I laugh only because I have no fucking clue. I see wisdom in many disparate ideas: the idea that each person should “Be the change you want to see in the world”, but I also see flaws in that. I see wisdom in the idea that the cities so many of us live in are effectively a cancer for this planet (the very things that provides us life) and that civilization as we know it should be deconstructed or torn down by any means necessary to salvage the parts of the planet that are left, and hopefully return to a more symbiotic form of living with this planet, but I see flaws in that too. What I do believe is that simply clicking “Like” on a Facebook page for bettering the world is not going to solve our problems. I believe that what we’re doing is NOT working. I believe that attempting to passively influence change is not a likely solution. I believe there are consequences for our actions as a species, and that it’s nearly whipping time. How do I live with that? One moment at a time.

Who do you look up to? Either musically or personally (or both).

I see brilliance in a great many people every day. I see acts of kindness. I see people helping unconditionally. I see people creating. I see people coping. I see people struggling, but not giving up. I see people surviving, following their dreams, letting go, discovering who they really are, living, and loving. Plenty of inspiration and examples to follow.

 

Will we be seeing you on the festival circuit this summer? Are there any specific festivals you are most excited for?

I’m currently booked at Lightning in a Bottle, Harmony Festival, Cirque du Womp & some others that will be announced soon.

Optional final message to the people:

THANK YOU to all of the fans for all of the support with the new album and the tour! You guys truly make it happen!

 

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Canal Club – Richmond, VA ,USA- March 25, 2011

Public Assembly – Brooklyn, NY ,USA- March 26, 2011

Castaways – Ithaca, NY ,USA- March 27, 2011

Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS ,USA- March 30, 2011

The Hookah – New Orleans, LA ,USA- March 31, 2011

Limelight – Nashville, TN, USA- April 1, 2011

Newby’s – Memphis, TN, USA- April 2, 2011

King Plow Arts Center – Atlanta, GA ,USA- April 3, 2011

Ukiah Brewing Co. – Ukiah, CA ,USA- April 6, 2011

Red Fox Tavern – Eureka, CA ,USA- April 7, 2011

103 Harriet – San Francisco, CA ,USA- April 8, 2011

Refuge – Portland, OR ,USA- April 9, 2011

Museam of Nature & Science – Dallas, TX – May 07, 2011

Lightning in a Bottle – Irvine, CA – May 07, 2011

The Blastoff – Bellefontaine, OH – June 17, 2011

Sonica Festival – Velika Plaza, Montenegro, EuropeAugust , 12-15 2011

www.phutureprimitive.com

www.twitter.com/phutureprimitive

www.facebook.com/phutureprimitive

www.youtube.com/primitivephuture

 

 

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